What is the meaning of the quote below?

“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? ... It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

― Martin Luther King Jr

8 Answers

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  • 4 days ago

    It means that he's upset that people are not more upset and concerned about him and his cause. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility 

  • 4 weeks ago

    MLK was asking for equal opportunity for all humanity and not just a given few.  I believe it went further than just blacks versus whites, but all humanity should receive freedom and justice in the eyes of God.  

  • 2 months ago

    MLK is saying that a riot is the result of the frustrations of a people whose voices have not been listened to. He answers the question he asks ("What is it America has not heard?") with this. America  "...has failed to hear the promises of freedom and justice..."  He continues to say that white society just doesn't want to do anything about inequality, because they prefer to leave it as it is, and maintain the "status quo."  That works until the group that white society is prejudiced against cannot take oppression anymore; hence, unrest and anger boils over to protests--and so often, to rioting.

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  • 2 months ago

    I remember a lady in my religion class said that Christianity is counter cultural - I think this is the traditional cultural vs. ethics paradigm where you have to choose between what is popular and what is right - It also shows that truth is no respecter of power relations 

  • 2 months ago

    #1 Blacks have the right to riot (instead of being rational and obeying the law). #2 Whitey is screwing the Knee grows. {Just because someone famous says something does not make it gospel.}

  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    When people do not act to correct injustice, after sufficient warnings, you can expect rioting because that is the next step to a deaf and blind people.

    Although it's true, it's not enough to explain what is happening. The issues going on now are far deeper. 

     We've had over three years with a partisan sham crook instead of a President with an enabler controlling the Senate. We have a now developed social media exposing the evils in society on a widespread fast pace. We have a massive skew of wealth with half the country financially struggling. We have incredibly defective systems of law enforcement and criminal justice, immigration and naturalization, education, housing, transportation, medical, elections, and big business control over the systems. Add also - major changes in family structure have occurred over time with little system change to work with it.

  • 2 months ago

    if you are not actively working to eliminate the injustices and failures of freedom, you are their cause.

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